Applicant who moves out of state has trouble finding primary treating physician

This is a non published case of the Court of Appeal

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant suffered a compensable injury to her back in 2000. She had back surgery in 2004 which was unsuccessful. She has been unable to work since and has chronic pain 24 hours a day.

The applicant moved to Maryland. The applicant was declared permanent and stationary, but needed further medical treatment.

The applicant who was in pro per had difficulty finding a treating physician that would treat her under the California Workers’ Compensation guidelines.

The appellate court looked at Labor Code sections 4600 and 4610. They indicated the applicant did not comply with Labor Code section 4600, and therefore denied the defendant the utilization review process of Labor Code section 4610.

The appellate court was frustrated with the case. “Frustration seeps from this record. The injured worker, the employer, and the judge have endured one fight after another, one hearing after another.” The appellate court left it by indicating it is up to the parties to find a new treating physician. They indicated the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) cannot come up with creative solutions to solve the issues within the confines of a highly regulated system in this case.

The case was remanded.

Case: Adventist Health v. WCAB (Fletcher)

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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